Let’s Tell Jeremy Hunt that our NHS & Social Care are Underfunded NOT Overspending

Posted on: 1st July 2018

Let’s tell Jeremy Hunt that our NHS & Social Care are underfunded NOT overspending. Just the demographic figures on our ageing population tells us we need to find a way to properly fund both services.

Rally in Penzance Saturday supporting our NHS and demanding 20% funding increase by 2020. I’m here with Andrew George and a GP who told the crowds of the recruitment crisis.

I was at the event in Penzance on Saturday and fully support this local cross party group but want to also make the point that Adult Social Care needs proper funding from National taxation too. Making the Council fund it, through a local Council tax levy, seriously limits the money we can raise and, as a proportion of wealth, Council tax hits the poorest hardest. As we begin to start looking at the next budget cycle, as a Cabinet Member I am being told that we either have to find a way to limit/ control the amount we spend on adult social care OR face the fact all other Council services will be decimated!

In 2015, Cornwall’s population of over 75’s was 57,292. By 2020 it is predicted it will be 66,777 and  2025 95,451. So, in 10 years, the over 75’s population in Cornwall is predicted to rise by almost 67%. What we know is that we are living longer but not living well so as we get older, many of us will have complex needs. We also know that extended families do not necessarily stay within the same community these days and sometimes, children and grandchildren can be in different countries!

Suddenly the demand for a 20% increase in funding for the NHS looks quite modest and 2% or even 4% increases in funding, through Council tax, this is what we have been allowed to do, look like small change!

So, as your councillor and Cabinet member, I am going to be having some sleepness nights over decision making on the budget. I don’t want to ration Social Care to the older members of our community BUT if I dig my heels in and say I want to increase that budget to fully fund their local needs, I will have to accept that all other Council Services that are not statutory, will be slashed and many stopped. Even statutory services will be delivered to minimum rather than any higher standards.

Sorry to be so gloomy!